Just To Be Outside

I climbed 3,000 feet the other day, just to soak up the sunshine. Some might get their Vitamin D fix with coffee on the porch or a stroll around the block but, alas, moderation has never been my thing. I went 3,000 something feet up…just to get that much closer to it.

If you don’t count the rain and snow that’s coming down this weekend…we’ve had some very Spring-like weather lately. And I can’t wait for more days like this one.

I didn’t climb up the side of a mountain to burn calories or burn out my quads. I climbed up the side of a mountain…to be outside. In the sunshine. Just to get on some trails I’ve never explored and, if I’m lucky, get a little lost.

But the AllTrails app makes that nearly impossible. It’s AMAZING.

I thought about that yesterday morning before I really woke up and before I even moved a muscle. I knew my body would be sore. I’ve been putting in more miles on the bike, and it’s catching up with me. But before I even stretched or shifted, I could feel the sunshine pouring into my room and I wanted to get outside…just to be outside in the chilly air under the blue skies.

My mindset has really shifted out here, from wanting and needing to sweat every day in the name of fitness to wanting and needing to get outside just to feel the seasons change.

I’ve resisted joining a gym partially for this reason. It seemed like a good idea for awhile, especially in the middle of winter, but I don’t want to feel like I have to stress my system. I’m not training for anything. Although, it would be nice to get back in the pool at some point…

Bear Peak is the highest I’ve climbed since I moved out here in October. It sits at around 8,400 feet and offers 360* views of Boulder and surrounding cities. It’s a strange sensation, standing in the middle of a trail that high up. It felt like a different planet. Things below you begin to disappear. You can’t make out cars or people or even some roads anymore, help is very, very far away, and it’s SILENT save for rogue birds chirping in the distance and wind rustling the trees. I should record it and save it next time. I could listen to that hum all day.

“Ah, a warm body!”

I passed a couple heading up while I was making my way down and he made me laugh. This trail is not for the faint of heart and it’s much less frequented, so it’s a bit startling to see others, as this hiker alluded to.

I didn’t record this hike on my Garmin so I don’t know the exact mileage but, it took me almost five hours, two Clif bars, a banana, and a bulk bin bag of salted pistachios. If I had to guess, I’d say I was in the ballpark of about 13-15 miles.

One of my favorite things to do on long hikes and walks is take podcasts with me. On this hike I listened to:

CrossFit Podcast Ep. 18.33: Natalia Diez
The Unabomber: Misguided to say the least
Fun with Depression! Jen Gotch #479

My interests are…all over the place, to say the least. But these are three of my favorite channels. Should I do a post on my podcast faves? Fair warning: it’s gonna get weird. 

My hike only landed me back at home around noon-ish, but it felt like the world had gone on without me for a day. It was suddenly really hot and cars were whizzing by and a guy was mowing his lawn and a nearby elementary school had let out for recess. Life was happening louder and faster than at 8,400 feet. It was, honestly, a little overwhelming. Ha!

But, damn, it was nice to just be outside, despite the million and one breaks I took and the million and one times I coughed out, “Am I frickin there yet?!” on my ascent to Bear Peak.

When this rain and snow lets up I’ll be back on the mountain in no time.

Push on, PUSH ANIMALS >>>

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